What is Sourcing?
Sourcing is the process of locating and selecting businesses or individuals based on a set criteria…YAWN! At Disruptiv Innovations sourcing is our passion, our rite of passage and our livelihood. To us sourcing is a serious business and should be in the forefront of your business endeavors. Sourcing is much more than just selecting a business or individual based on a set criteria, it’s about building relationships of trust.
I am proud to announce that I recently celebrated my fourteenth wedding anniversary! I took the day off work, we dropped the kids off at the grandparent’s place and were off for a day of adventure, reminiscence and romance (not to mention some of the best Korean BBQ I’ve ever had). As I stared across the table, over the steaming cuts of beef, I looked at my wife and couldn’t help but think how fortunate I was to have married such an amazing woman.
Throughout our initial courtship we used to talk for hours about our values, needs and goals. And over a short time I knew exactly what she wanted, she knew exactly what I wanted, and together we’ve created an unbreakable relationship of trust. You see, marriage involves much more than just a set of criteria (smart, attractive, good sense of humor, etc.), it requires a relationship of trust built by actually getting to know who you’ll be spending the rest of your life with--or in terms of sourcing, who you will be sharing your time, secrets and money with (Whoa, that sounds a lot like marriage doesn’t it?). If you base your supplier selection on a generic set of criteria such as price, minimum order quantities or lead time do you truly know who you’re getting involved with? Have you built a relationship of trust?
Some years ago, while I was working as an interim Supply Chain manager, I was asked to issue a hefty PO to a new company I had little knowledge about. When I inquired more information regarding the legitimacy of the purchase my boss said, “Yeah, those are the guys we want to work with. They have the lowest price and are willing to work with us on our year end deadline”. “Would you like me to audit their facility and meet with their production team to confirm”, I asked. “We don’t have the time, just cut the PO” he replied. Regrettably the PO was submitted to an unknown supplier who promised us they could hit our deadline – the production clock began ticking. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. In short, we missed our launch date and customers who had pre-ordered product were cancelling faster than when they placed them. And that’s when I first heard it, “We need to divorce ourselves from this supplier”. All the trust the company had placed into this supplier was gone and the ugly process of “divorcing ourselves from this supplier” began with lawyers and all.
One of the beauties of life is experience. And through the many negative experiences one encounters in life many rewarding experiences come as we learn to avoid past mistakes. We’ve worked with all kinds of suppliers throughout our working history and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Without hesitation, we can attest to the value and importance of working with a reputable supplier that you can trust. We know the value of getting to know your supplier beyond price, minimum order quantities or lead time. So before you send that next PO, ask yourself, “Do I truly know who I’m getting involved with? Have I built a relationship of trust?